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June 28, 2015

More Illustrated Travel Journals: Анастасия Кардашова

This weekend, I experimented with a set of Prismacolor markers I received as a gift several months ago. My experience inspired me to look for more work in the same vein, and in my search I discovered the diverse portfolio of Анастасия Кардашова. I encourage you to scroll through her Instagram for examples of all kind of different imagery, mediums, and styles.

But for this post, I want to focus on the illustrated travel journal she created from a trip to Venice. I’m now able to relate to the process of working with markers, and I’m fascinated by how the colors are applied in these sketches. The irreversible strokes of markers made me very cautious about where to place my own strokes, afraid that I would make them too wide, too saturated, etc. Анастасия employs a style of layering vertical strokes to create a really interesting and effective way to apply color without just solidly filling an entire space. I also like her selective choice of white space. When viewing this journal I feel like Анастасия is telling me about her trip, and as she proceeds with the descriptions, the color creeps in. Not every moment of the trip is explained in detail, and therefore suggested in the negative spaces.

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June 19, 2015

Letting Go, Step by Step

"How a graphic artist discovers to free his creativity and have fun" is the alternate title for journal d’une décomplexion graphique, a record of an ongoing journey in letting go of artistic insecurities. A detailed, hand-written note on the blog explains, "I love my job, but I don’t love my work. Few are the projects which I feel proud of and would like to put in a book." Crushed by deadlines from time-consuming jobs, over years this artist began to feel their sense of creativity shriveling. When do I have fun in all this? Stuck behind a computer all day with no chance to mess around and then coming home too tired to do anything, there was a growing fixation on the idea of taking a pen or pencil to paper.

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June 18, 2015

Amliv Sotomayor: Women with Eyes Closed

Amliv is living and working among us here in Miami. The Cuban artist (who, according to her bio "eats her rice and beans regularly") creates delicate and ethereal imagery - it's hard to place the images within a city so much the opposite. Not only do I admire Amliv for her skill with graphite, but the imaginative nature of her images is also to be revered. As someone who at times relies heavily on source photographs, I'm in awe of the emotion and precision portrayed in these fantastical scenes.

I see Amliv's images and wonder about the story behind the characters and their interactions. What relationship does the artist see between these women and beasts? Almost all of Amliv's drawings of women show them with their eyes closed. I feel as if these women are completely engulfed in their personal experience, whether it be transformation, grandeur, dream, or sleep. It’s a beautiful and strange effect, and it is executed with such grace.

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June 17, 2015

Now Accepting Submissions
Showcase #22: Doodle Your Journey

For showcase challenge #22, we ask that you doodle your journey - your summer adventure - one that has happened, will happen, or that you dream of happening. So, get on it. Get to it. And go... Doodle wherever summer leads you.

And holy smokes! Did we mention? The winner of this challenge will win the meticulously-designed Aeronaut 30 ($270 value) travel bag made in the USA by Tom Bihn. Read on for complete details »


June 15, 2015

A Monochrome Moleskine

I am captivated by Vahid’s marvelous monochrome moleskine. It was no surprise for me to read that his illustration experience includes some projects in animation and cartooning, because the artist’s passion for it bleeds through into his sketchbook. My first impression of several drawings was that they seemed like paused frames in the middle of a movement. The boldness and simplicity of his illustrations, along with a story they seem to be suggesting, evoke ancient black-figure paintings with a modern spin. It’s a cool combination of sharp angles and soft curves creating fascinating figures that prove you don’t need color to breathe life into a sketch.

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June 12, 2015

Doodleshopped

Staring down at a blank sheet of paper can be intimidating to someone suffering from artist's block. Might I suggest taking a page out of Leanne Aranador's book? She rips, cuts, and pastes snippets from magazines into her sketchbook to create a starting point for her doodles, and what happens next is where it gets interesting. Her talented hands use the power of doodles to transform bland advertisements that look like every other page into a singular work of art and poetry. Aranador’s process seems chaotically therapeutic in its irreverence of polished print ads, and pleasantly similar to our own Doodlebomb! project. Try it sometime!

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June 9, 2015

Funny Doodles That Never Fall Flat

Simple black and white doodles with a twist... or should I say a fold? HuskMitNavn is an artist from Copenhagen who draws in three dimensions. His black and white characters have a comical and nostalgic style, reminiscent of those old-timey cartoons we all used to watch. What takes them to next the level is the way the artist folds, rolls, and tears the paper in many different directions to create a scene. The simplicity of these doodles infuses them with a playful energy that takes me back to the days in my childhood when I could amuse myself by making toys from nothing but paper and a pencil—dolls, planes, telescopes, whatever I happened to accidentally sculpt a sheet into! It’s a good source of inspiration for doodlers who want to start thinking outside of the box.

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